Real-life war always has its propaganda machine, and now Israel and Hamas have taken to Twitter to press their cases as violence mounts in their very dangerous part of the world.
Each has its own style. The Twitter feed for the Israel Defense Force, @IDFSpokesperson, is a cross between Rambo and your grandmother.
“Good morning to our friends in #America," went the @IDFSpokesperson. "While you were sleeping, 3 Israelis were killed when a rocket hit their house.”
Hamas’ feed, @alqassambrigade, is prone to photos of bloodied children, while @hamasinfo — the “international office of the Hamas movement “ — is entirely in Arabic and photo-free.
The IDF struck back: “Hamas has suffered a severe blow to its underground infrastructure, but it still maintains a capability to fire long-range rockets,” the IDF tweeted at midday on Thursday.
That was followed by: “Terrorist groups in Gaza fire rockets from residential areas. Would you raise your child in such a neighborhood? #Hamas”
The tweet links to a video of the al-Quds brigade firing rockets into Israel from Gaza.
Apart from the guilt tactics, the Israeli messaging veers strongly toward bad-ass. In a video that looks straight out of “Black Hawk Down,” the IDF posts aerial, 10-second footage of the killing of Hamas' military chief Ahmed Jabari — up to the moment his car explodes in a fireball.
The IDF tweet about so-called “Piillar of Defense” operation — “Our latest count: 245 rockets have been fired from Gaza into Israel since yesterday” — got this rejoinder from Ghada Shahbender @gadasha:
Hamas could not resist tweaking the IDF. After putting up a video of an Israeli drone being shot down, came the tweet to #idfelite: Alqassam Brigades @AlqassamBrigade
@idfelite enjoy this>> losers
The war is just beginning, it seems, but on Twitter IDF is ahead in the numbers: with 109,000 followers to Alqassam Brigades 12,065 at midday on Thursday. (@hamasinfo has 18,881 followers at last check.)